Another year is almost past. Many of you are busy with end-of-year or community Christmas activities. On Friday evening our church plant (Living Waters) was involved with others in a community musical event – organized by city leaders and local community pastors. Our worship service yesterday took the form of an Agape Brunch (10.00 am – 12.00 noon) – involving worship, breakfast, foot-washing, fellowship, special music (Larissa sang ‘via Dolorosa’ beautifully), communion (the Lord’s meal) and anointing prayer. We reflected upon Jesus statement that the reason why he “came in the first place” (or was born) was that he would be lifted up as our Savior. (John 12) Unchurched friends shared with us. It was a great day!
This last week I had the privilege of spending an evening with Converse – a dialogue group originally established in Sydney (Australia) by Michael Frost and Fuzz Kitto to explore what church is in today’s world. It was an invigorating and practical discussion. Wayne Brighton and Fuzz now facilitate the discussion. It is important for the encouragement it provides for some at the cutting edge of mission. I want to encourage you – church planter or pastor/leader committed to cultivating churches that plant other churches for God. Sometimes it is tough going – and there are times when it seems that systems and structures are intent on wiping out the vision and Christian heritage of being a church planting movement to reach lost people with the gospel.
However, the snippets in this NEWS will again inspire with the commitment of planters – and fresh ministry ideas. Because of the increasing number of reports being received I am posting many on our blogsite. Some have wanted past copies of the CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – and so we are also posting these as well. Read –
· REMIX – the Story of how the drop-in youth club Plug-In has become a church plant for unchurched teens.
· Typical Church transitions to Missional – the story of how a typical established church has become a network of 5 missional communities.
· 3 NEW CHURCH PLANTS ON 1 DAY – the story of how one pastor planted 3 new churches in one day (in Australia).
· Quiet Church – let God be God! (A great idea for hassled people!)
Judy and I will be taking a holiday with our family during the next few weeks – so my email contact may not be as regular. We wish you a safe and blessed season – and pray that Jesus will be reborn in your hearts and in your communities.
Do some fun (even crazy) thing for your community & God – to bring pleasure & honor to Him,
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS – 17 Dec 06
News stories, resources, websites & equipping – including:
· London Live – “A Life Less Ordinary”
· QUIET Church – Let God be God!
· ONE-DAY INTRODUCTION TO CHURCH PLANTING!
· RE:VIVE YOUTH!
· SureWay Community Church (England) – FOCUS
· KORINTA X-Change – Revolution 4 this Generation!
· MOSAIC prepares for Christmas!
· ALPHA DAY ON CYPRUS
London Live – “A Life Less Ordinary.” Murray Harvey reports that a skilled video cameraman and editor – who has not been involved in church previously – now prepares their promotional materials and their new program called “A Life Less Ordinary.” Murray reports that London Live is committed to involving people of ability and doing a few things at a very high standard – to reach the “hardest to reach” with the gospel. Their 3-step discipleship track is Connection (social & “Sunday Sports” activities), Engagement (Friday night worship in Oxford Street with media, drama, etc) and Accountability (through small groups – called London Life Groups). Murray says, “At each of our Friday night events we get between 2 and 4 people from the street. We also now average around 15 unchurched friends and another 10-15 Adventists not engaged in a local church.” London Live has twinned with a planting project in St Austall in Cornwall – and once a month 8-12 people (mostly unchurched) come from Cornwall for an afternoon in London and an evening with London Live. Check out the website www.mylondonlive.com.
QUIET Church – Let God be God! Henrik Jorgensen, Dean of Students at Newbold College (England) was on a stop-over in Copenhagen – and when walking past the Cathedral was invited by a street poster to their Night Church. There are a variety of evening services – but Henrik slipped into the Sunday evening ‘ssshh-church’. He says, “I went in and it was just quiet and you were encouraged to just be quiet and respect the silence. You could pray, read, light a candle etc. And I was surprised that in the time I was there (approx.10pm) probably 20-30 (mostly young) people came and went. Just being there and being with God was so refreshing.” Henrik shared the idea with others at Newbold – and the idea of Quiet Church at Newbold College was born. For more ideas on Quiet Church – check out the story.
ONE-DAY INTRODUCTION TO CHURCH PLANTING! Ninety people came from across London and the Home Counties for an introduction to church planting and to hear about fresh expressions of church. The one-day conference, An Introduction to Church Planting, was organised by Aris Vontzalidis – planting coordinator for Adventists in South England. 20 people not already involved with church planting expressed an interest in being trained to become church planters. Rosemary Lethbridge – now preparing to plant a new church in Southampton (The Watering Hole) – brought 15 people to the conference. She was also one of the presenters, emphasising that everything a planter does should be part of discipleship. Case studies included Adventist planters from Dunstable, Enfield and London Live – and the projects of other denominations involving café churches, a student church in Southampton, a drop in centre for clubbers in Hereford, a skateboard church aimed at young people and a church based around crafts for parents and children called Messy Church. Rosemary also reports, “On the way home one of the teenagers (of her team traveling in a minibus) felt that God was telling her to be baptized… So we had a double celebration.”
RE:VIVE YOUTH! The re:vive plant (Grantham, England) is growing and the team is pretty excited. As well as re:vive kids – re:vive has started a youth group. About 8 youth meet in Abigail's house – across the road from the Scout Hall where the re:vive seeker service takes place. They also meet every second Friday evening Study 41 – tea and Bible study time at Lee & Lydia's house (which is number 41). Fiona Selvage says, “It is so exciting to have young people eager to hear about God and to apply Him to their lives.” Altogether re:vive is now about 100 people – including those who come to social events, seeker services, re:vive kids, youth etc.
SureWay Community Church (England) – FOCUS. Church planter Mfakazi Ndebele knows the importance of prayer and encouragement. He continues to share a regular email newsletter (called FOCUS) with his growing circle of members and community friends in which he encourages prayer intercession and faith sharing. How do you cultivate prayer and faith – and encourage your church planting team?
KORINTA X-Change – Revolution 4 this Generation! In October leaders of the Korinta church plant (Riga, Latvia) organized an x-change of ideas to which planters and friends were invited. “It was an intense week,” says Juris Rekis. “Groups from 8 different European countries came.” Some were seasoned planters, while others were beginners. Unchurched people were involved in every aspect of the X-Change – organizing and facilitating. “Aira did an amazing job of organizing the whole thing administratively – and each team did what they were there to do!” Juris says.
MOSAIC prepares for Christmas! “Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner will be Christmas lunch this time (hopefully in the restaurant of our donor for our Sunday lunch project),” writes Dragana Krnetic – from the Mosaic church plant in Banja Luke (Bosnia-Herzegovina). “The parents of disabled children will be very glad when they see packages of nappies for their children.”
ALPHA DAY ON CYPRUS: The Alpha day is dedicated to getting to know the Holy Spirit and provides a significant opportunity for participants in the Alpha Course to invite God’s presence into their lives. Gaby Phillips reports that the Alpha groups from Limassol and Larnaca met for the day in “a beautifully decorated rustic house” in the village of Kapedes on Cyprus – an ideal “spiritual refuge”. Gaby says, “The environment was relaxed … so warm and unique.” The group of over 20 people included Russians, Cypriots, British, Filipinos and Africans. David Cox led the worship times, Nicky Gumbel “presented” – and the participants shared in three language groups for discussion. Gaby says, “There was a clear sense of the presence of God from the beginning.”
RESOURCES, WEBSITES & EQUIPPING EVENTS –
Ministry to Children Seminar – 23-24 Feb 2007: The keynote speaker for this annual Careforce Church conference (Mt Evelyn, Victoria, Australia) is Mark Griffiths – and he will be talking about the link between church growth and ministry to children. Check out www.mtcs.net.au
Church Plant.info newsletter (for news from around the UK): If you would like to receive this newsletter, contact Gordon (Editor) [email protected]
Kids in Discipleship: check out http://www.kidsindiscipleship.org/
National New Church Conference in Orlando, Florida (2007): Go to www.exponentialconference.com.
What could Church be like? Check out http://www.christianitytoday.com/leaders/newsletter/2006/cln60911.html .
CHURCH PLANTING NEWS
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